While non-farmers may not have any idea what a somatic cell count is, the wrong somatic cell count can be a dairy farmer’s nightmare.
About 40 local dairy farmers came together at Peden Dairy Farm on Wednesday to discuss somatic cell count and the prevention of mastitis, one of the greatest threats to the dairy industry.
Somatic cell counts track the possibility a cow is infected with mastitis, a potentially fatal infection of the mammary gland in a cow’s udder. Milk with a somatic cell count of 750,000 per milliliter or more cannot be sold, according to current legal limits. Mastitis severely reduces the milk quality, and sickens or kills the cow.
Wednesday’s meeting of dairy farmers was organized by the Green River Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA), and focused on local farmers’ personal experiences with managing herds and preventing infection among cows.
Local dairyman Clint Waddell, Ben Davis and Jeremy Kinslow each discussed their farms.
Waddell, who milks about 25 cows outside of Horse Cave, was raised on a dairy farm and has been milking cows since since he was a teenager.
“I’m a dairyman plum down in my heart,” Waddell said.
For the full story, read the Nov. 16 print or e-Edition of the Glasgow Daily Times.